Not UP For 9; Wildcats Lose National Title To UCONN

0

From Dallas to state street the Big Blue Nation’s heart was broken last night. The UCONN Huskies stopped the ninth championship banner to hang in Rupp Arena Defeating the Wildcats 60-54 in the title matchup.

From the opening tip UCONN’s speed troubled the Cat’s defense as they easily got to the rim and clean looks from every spot on the floor. With Shabazz Napier nailing timely shots when the defense was good the Cats managed to hang tight with the Huskies. Coach Calipari went to a 2-3 zone which allowed the Cats to go on a 16-5 run after being down 15. The Cats never lead in 40 minutes of play and went into halftime down 4, 35-31 just like every other tournament game this year.

This time the second half team didn’t run on all cylinders scoring only 23 in the second half. Costly turnovers and missed free throws never allowed the Cats to put any real pressure on UCONN who played a great game by playing big down low. Their big men came up huge when they had to grabbing offensive and defensive rebounds and not allowing the Cats to finish at the rim, the Cats main scoring threat.

Congrats to Kevin Ollie on his first title as a head coach and to Final Four MVP Shabazz Napier who scored 22 and collected 6 boards. Ollie had a great game plan which kept the twins on their heels and never comfortable causing turnovers at mid court leading to easy transition buckets for the Huskies.

The Cats had one hell of a run to make it to Dallas and the freshman should be proud of themselves as well as the coaching staff. No one picked them to win the title after going 24-10 in a weak SEC conference. Those young men grew leaps and bounds and whoever leaves or comes back is upin the air. Calipari knows he only has one shot with most of these kids and does a wonderful job with them in that year.

Again congrats to UCONN for their win and their 4th in 15 years.

The Cats will host a pep rally to celebrate the season tomorrow at Rupp. Tickets are free but have to be picked up at Rupp Arena with gates opening at 8 am. The Wildcats are scheduled to be home in the Bluegrass around 2 pm and after this amazing season I’m sure Rupp will be filled to the rafters.

Thanks to all who have read my Wildcat articles and I will be previewing next year’s class to keep feeding you the big blue nation on what we love the most. Basketball.